Jump to content


What size tanks do most people use for small fish?

4 replies to this topic

#1 Warhawk

  • NANFA Guest
  • Fort Wayne IN

Posted 06 March 2017 - 09:25 AM

I might be over looking this but I have looked and I don't see any list of what size tanks people use. I know it depends on the fish you are after so here are some I'm hoping to catch this spring.


Banded Pygmy Sunfish (or any others I might be able to catch in the area)

Darters (There are a lot in Indiana so it will depend what I can find)



These will be small fish so not sure if a 10g will work or if they need 20g tanks. I also know it depends on the number if fish in the tank but I'm not expecting to catch a lot of fish the first times out.


My goal is to have 4-5 tanks setup with plants ready to go so when I come home with fish I can put them right in. I will seed the filters tropical fish tanks for a few months then move them over when I add the native fish.

#2 swampfish

  • NANFA Member

Posted 06 March 2017 - 03:40 PM

I keep Elassoma in 5 gallon tanks with Java moss or Najas.


I keep Pteronotropis (metallic shiner, Apalachee shiner) in 20 long and 15 gallon tanks.


I have a mixture of two-inch minnows (rainbow shiners, burhead shiners, others) from Alabama in a 28 gallon tank (36" long X 13" X 14")


I have a mixture of three-inch minnows (southern red-bellied dace, Tennessee shiners, central mudminnows, others) in a 33 gallon tank (48" long X 13" X 12")


I have Fundulus cingulatus in a 20 gallon standard tank.


I have Fundulus rubifrons in a 40 gallon tank.


I have Fundulus lineolatus in two 30 gallon tanks (36" long X 16" X 12"). 


I use longer tanks for minnows that school and are active swimmers. The killifish (Fundulus) are not as likely to school and are less active swimmers, so I use shorter tanks compared to height. The Pteronotropis school but are less active swimmers, so I use shorter tanks for them also. I prefer to use two smaller tanks over one big one because they are easier to move and clean, and if I have a die-off due to my inattention, I don't lose all my fish.


Phil Nixon

Tolono, IL

#3 Warhawk

  • NANFA Guest
  • Fort Wayne IN

Posted 06 March 2017 - 03:57 PM

Thanks for the info Phil I know it matters about what fish I can find but that does help give me a idea what to look at. I might just setup a new rack just for native fish then I can do some 20g long or maybe 40g Breeders.


I'm thinking about setting up some small tub "ponds" out side this summer and I bet those would work great too. Too many options and not enough time.

#4 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 06 March 2017 - 08:08 PM

Elassoma should be kept alone in a 10 gallon crammed with plants... a few can become a tankful.


Darters and Minnow will prefer the 20 long or 40 breeder... current is not necessary, but appreciated (and makes it easier to feed the darters)... shiners dont care and will always eat, but will school nicer in a longer tank.

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#5 Warhawk

  • NANFA Guest
  • Fort Wayne IN

Posted 07 March 2017 - 08:14 AM

Thanks Michael for the info.  I think I will build a 20g l rack I have 3 empty so that gives me a few to start with, then build a 40g rack. I have always like the 40g tank but every time I start to buy them I go ahead and get 55g for a few more bucks.



Can't wait for it to warm up a little so I can start checking the creeks and streams.

Reply to this topic


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users